BY VENUS MAY H. SARMIENTO
MANAOAG – A new drug rehabilitation center will soon rise at the sprawling grounds of the Philippine Army camp in this town once guidelines and instructions are drafted and approved.
Commander Milfredo Melegrito of the 702nd Infantry (Defender) Brigade of the 7th Infantry Division, said initial talks with the provincial government of Pangasinan paved the way for a study on the drug rehabilitation center to be constructed at the Camp. Other details, however, are not yet definite.
“We are ready to support (the plan). The drug problem is a primordial concern and is an instruction of President Duterte,” Melegrito said during the 28th founding anniversary of the Brigade held at Camp Tito Abat here on Thursday.
Once a memorandum of agreement is drafted, the 702nd brigade can provide as large as 10 hectares of land depending on the need and the number of patients, the Brigade Commander said.
Meanwhile, Board Member Jeremy Agerico Rosario, who represented Gov. Amado Espino III in the ceremony, said the plan is still under study and a resolution is still being drafted by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan members concerning the partnership and the center.
The planned rehab center is envisioned to be a facility where youth drug dependents, who are still considered ‘moderate’ drug users, will be housed for group therapy and renewal on a weekly basis. Members of the Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council (PADAC) are still studying the appropriate intervention for higher levels of addiction.
“The provincial government is in full support of the campaign of the national government against illegal drugs,” Rosario said.
Rosario, a doctor by profession, is one of only three doctors of the provincial government trained on drug addiction management. (VHS/PIA-Pangasinan)